SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This document is the Children and Adults Services' Emergency Duty Team Operational Handbook.
It contains information on the role of the Emergency Duty Team (EDT); the procedures for EDT staff and the arrangements between the EDT and day services in both Children's and Adults Divisions.
LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE
The list below is an example of the legislation that governs the work undertaken by EDT, it is not exhaustive:
The principal responsibility of the EDT is to respond to out of hours referrals where intervention from the local authority is required to safeguard a vulnerable child or adult, and where it would not be safe, appropriate or lawful to delay that intervention to the next working day.
The EDT may also deal with referrals, which are not assessed as emergencies but where delay before intervention by day staff could cause deterioration in the welfare or safety of the subject of the referral.
The EDT is not intended to provide the same level of service that is available during normal office hours. It does not have the resources to do so, either in terms of staff or access to information and support from partner agencies.
EDT will meet the following service standards in line with guidance issued by the regulatory Authority:
The EDT Team Manager will have a particular responsibility for ensuring that there are good operational links between EDT and day services.
EDT is only responsible for dealing with referrals, which are initially made outside office hours. Day staff should complete all work where the initial referral was made before 17.00hrs.
Where day staff considers that they are unable to complete a piece of work, EDT may exceptionally take this on. However, it is essential for day staff to speak directly to the EDT officer on duty to negotiate this. Day staff must therefore leave a telephone number on which they can be contacted after 17.00hrs.
It is not acceptable for day staff to leave a message asking for the EDT to complete a piece of work. If the day staff cannot speak to the EDT worker then it must be assumed that the work will not be undertaken by the EDT.
It is part of the role of the EDT to help and support day staff that are working outside normal hours. Any colleague working after normal hours can contact EDT for advice, information, resources or assistance.
EDT is principally responsible for providing an emergency service in situations where there is real and immediate threat to life, safety, health or liberty. Additionally, EDT will seek to provide a service where delay could cause deterioration in the welfare or safety of the subject of the referral.
It is therefore not appropriate to make referrals to EDT for routine monitoring of service users or carers out of hours. EDT cannot guarantee to be available for this purpose, which must be covered in general care planning for a case.
As outlined above, it will be unusual for day staff to make a referral for action, as the expectation is that when day staff do need to make a referral, the worker should ring the EDT contact number, email or page them via Arrowe Park Switchboard requesting a consultation. (There is a referral form, but this alone is insufficient).
There will be occasions when day staff need to alert EDT to referrals which may arise, giving background information and indicating a course of action which they would like EDT staff to take. Contact details for an appropriate officer should normally be included. These “alerts” should be completed online and emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EDT duty officer will check the mailbox at the beginning of each shift.
At the end of each EDT duty period it is the responsibility of the EDT officers who have dealt with a referral to ensure that safe and accurate transfer to the relevant day service and to forward this by Liquid Logic for the availability of that service.
Sometimes it may be necessary for the incumbent duty officer to use other means such as email or fax as well as Liquid Logic. It is for the duty officer to determine this.
Where urgent follow-up is required of day staff, the EDT officer may in some circumstances ring the appropriate duty team to confirm actions required.Queries about previous work can be dealt with by the Team Support Officer or the Team Manager who are in the office during day time hours, or by e-mail.
The EDT consists of 1 Team Manager and 8 established posts. 1 Team Support Officer does all the administrative duties arising from the operation of the team. They are available from 9:30am till 3:00pm Monday to Friday. There is access to a pool of highly experienced senior workers with suitable experience/qualification.
The Team Manager reports to the Mental Health Service Manager in Adults Social Care and has liaison capacity with the Senior Manager for IFD (CYPD).
Sessional workers may be utilised at various periods due to capacity and demand of work and referrals. They will be governed by the same procedures as the established posts.
The EDT Team Manager is responsible for drawing up the rota of working sessions for EDT staff.
The EDT service is operational between 5pm and 9am Monday to Friday, and at weekends from Friday at 5pm through to 9am on Monday. The service is extended to cover Bank Holidays and other public holidays.
Shifts are organised so that two social workers are on duty all the time. Most of the time both incumbent officers will be experienced in child protection/safeguarding/and have an AMHP qualification. The minimum operational requirement is that each of the two officers will have one of the above requirements.
The shift patterns for the EDT have been reviewed and take account of European Working Time Directives and interests of Health and Safety guidance.
There is an equivalent rota of senior managers in Children and Adult Social Care, who are available for advice and guidance.
Annual leave must be agreed by the Team Manager, giving as much notice as possible. However, requests for leave at short notice will be accommodated wherever possible, subject to the demands of the service.
Where a social worker is unable to start or complete a shift because of illness, they must advise the Team Manager by 10am, who is responsible for arranging duty cover.
The EDT service will normally be provided by two social workers on duty together. They work together and answer all calls wherever possible. The answerphone message, when they are not available, advises the caller of the option, in times of urgency, to contact Arrowe Park Hospital who will page the social workers. Each social worker also has a work mobile number which they can also be contacted on.
The social workers receiving the calls are responsible for risk assessing and prioritising calls.
Where there are issues of high expenditure or difficult casework decisions they will consult the relevant senior manager for financial matters and some casework decisions. Some casework decisions will be discussed with the Team Manager.
For the period covered by the EDT service, when both social workers are out and they receive a page they will attempt to advise Arrowe Park Switchboard and the caller of the time period involved in responding. The duty police inspector and Arrowe Park Switchboard also have access to the incumbent duty officer’s mobile phone numbers.
It will be the aim of the EDT officers to speak to the person making a referral within thirty minutes of the referral being received.
Visiting is subject to health and safety procedures. This applies to both the community and various parts of the hospital.
At the start and finish of a working shift, each EDT social worker will act to ensure continuity and good communications. This will sometimes involve direct contact with daytime services or requesting the Team Manager or Team Support Officer to do so on their behalf.
When one EDT shift is followed directly by another, it is the responsibility of the officers being relieved to pass written handover information on pieces of work that require continuance. This will be done on the correct document in the handover period. There will also be verbal exchange.
A rota of senior managers ensures that advice and assistance is available to EDT officers at all times. The EDT Team Manager is also normally available to the EDT officers on duty.
The EDT Team Manager will be responsible for the individual supervision, appraisals and performance management of EDT officers in line with Wirral standard procedures, requirements and expectations. Training and development plans for each officer will be agreed through these processes, always ensuring as a priority that staff are adequately equipped, qualified and supported to carry out emergency duties across all service user groups.
The EDT Team Manager will monitor/review quality of referrals to locality teams and regularly liaise with day team managers to provide feedback and share necessary information.
The EDT Team Manager will be responsible for ensuring that Team Meetings are arranged at least once a month, during normal office hours. EDT officers are required to attend all Team Meetings.
The EDT Team Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a range of measures which ensure that the quality of the service provided by the EDT is of a high standard, and is routinely monitored. These measures will include the routine collection and analysis of agreed management information, and regular audits of individual cases. There are a number of joint forums attended by the Team Manager which provide feedback about EDT performance.
The EDT will aim to achieve the targets detailed below:
|Initial response to referral within 30 minutes.||90%|
|Referrals to be passed to day services @ 09:00hrs.||95%|
The EDT will be responsible for all referrals made to Children and Adults Services outside of office hours. EDT staff will follow standard departmental procedures and guidance in determining their response to those referrals as and where they are commensurate with EDT Service Procedures. There may be some variance where prevailing conditions dictate.